Developers planning to work with the HTC Vive VR headset can now apply for the chance to receive one for free. The Valve-backed headsets will be shipping to developers in this spring, and will continue throughout the summer. It is expected that this means Valve will keep sending out new dev kits as more applications come in.
While the HTC is the manufacturer behind the Vive, it appears that the development is still being handled by game developer Valve. Considering that the headset is being built on the Steam VR platform, this probably makes more sense for HTC to simply concentrate on just building the hardware.
There is a rather stringent application for the Vive VR headset, as it looks like Valve is making sure that it goes to real developers with the potential to put out real games. The application itself requires for information that includes a URL and a detailed description of what the developer hopes to make using the VR headset. Valve and HTC are shipping these dev kits out for free, which would explain why they are taking extra care to get it into the hands of real developers.
Of course, those who fail to get their hands on the dev kit can still follow the development process on the Steam VR Developer Community. Valve is promising that the process will remain public, although only developers will be allowed to post updates.
The consumer version of the HTC Vive is set to ship later this year, although both HTC and Valve have said that it might have a slightly higher than usual price tag. That being said, Valve has already announced that its VR technology is meant to be a platform to be shared with as many manufacturers as possible. Which means that it is likely other brands will be watching the development process closely.
[Source: Steam Community]